Skip to Main Content

Radio Frequency Identification Device Specialists


Radio frequency identification technology was originally developed for war efforts. It has roots in World War II, when German pilots discovered that when they rolled their planes while en route back to their base, it changed the radar signal and alerted their ground radar crew that these were German aircraft. This is considered a passive radio frequency identification system. At the same time the British developed what was called an active identity friend or foe (IFF) system, with contributions by Scottish physicist Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt. They put a transmitter on British planes and when the transmitter received signals from ground radar stations, it sent a signal back so that the ground crew knew it was a friendly aircraft.

Radio frequency identification device systems have a similar concept to that of the IFF system. With a passive system, a transponder receives a signal and reflects the signal back to the transponder. With an active system, the transponder responds by broadcasting a signal. RFID technology advanced in the 1950s and 1960s, and companies started to create RFID systems for commercial purposes, such as for systems to prevent theft. In the 1970s, the RFID electronic tags started to be used on packaging. Many patents were issued for RFID systems to track a variety of things, from nuclear materials to cows. 

Today, many companies use RFID systems to track their products and goods and improve the efficiencies in their production lines. RFID specialists develop and implement RFID systems for numerous industries, including consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, retail, apparel, aerospace, defense, and pharmaceutical.  

Related Professions